Book about a Female Union Spy

Book about a Female Union spy

"Nurse, Soldier, Spy," a fast-moving story of the Civil War, offers a mix of history, adventure and "old-fashioned girl power," artist John Hendrix says.

"Nurse" tells the true tale of teenager Sarah Emma Edmonds, who dressed as a man and enlisted in the Union Army under the name Frank Thompson. Thompson rescued the wounded on battlefields, nursed their wounds and served as a spy, disguising herself as a slave to get behind Confederate lines.

Nurse Treating a Wounded Soldier in a Civil War Hospital




Nurse Treating a Wounded Soldier in a Civil War Hospital


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After illustrating "Abe Lincoln Crossing a Creek: A Tall Thin Tale" in 2008 and writing and illustrating the acclaimed "John Brown: His Fight for Freedom" in 2009, Hendrix, of University City, Mo., was offered "Nurse, Soldier, Spy," just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's start. He says he was a little concerned that he was getting stereotyped as "a Civil War nut."

Civil War Hospital




Civil War Hospital


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"My first reaction was, oh man, do I want to do another Civil War work?" he says. "But I'd just finished 'John Brown,' and I'd done a lot of research on the era - I had my head in it. I like history. I probably like the Civil War more than I'd like to admit. It worked out well."

His artwork complements Marissa Moss' story of Edmonds, one of hundreds of women who dressed as men on both sides in the war, often serving with courage and distinction. But Edmonds was the only one to receive an honorable discharge and a pension.

Hendrix found it a sympathetic story.

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